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The New Zealand Herald

Hospital Mistakes- Meats Up- Pink Tower- Falling Dog- Imax Safety- Bob Hits Out- Power Lower- Control By Terror- Faster Internet- Strange Prices- Man Swamped

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HOSPITAL MISTAKES: Mistakes in hospitals are killing 1500 people a year, research shows. Of the 3000 deaths caused by medical failure, about half are preventable. The remaining 1500 are the result of unavoidable complications, according to research due out soon.

- MEATS UP: The average Kiwi can no longer afford a humble lamb chop. Lamb and steak are dropping off the menu in New Zealand homes as the price of meat soars. Red meat now costs up to 30 per cent more, wholesale, than it did a year ago. The falling dollar has forced local wholesalers to match high export prices.

- PINK TOWER: Auckland's Sky Tower became the first monument in the world to be lit up in pink to highlight the fight against breast cancer. Similar ceremonies were staged progressively yesterday as darkness fell on landmarks in 21 other countries, including New York's Empire State Building, Sydney's Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Obelisk in Paris.

- FALLING DOG: The Football Kingz soccer team have scored an own-goal before the season kicks off. A television advertisement promoting the Auckland-based franchise, owned by Sky TV, has upset dog lovers. The ad shows a dog and a soccer ball falling from a burning building.

- IMAX SAFETY: Occupational Safety and Health is under attack from health and safety experts after its refusal to investigate the death of Danial Gardner at the Imax cinema complex last month. The 16-year-old high school student fell to his death on September 22, over a barrier which the Herald later revealed was 6cm lower than the building code standard.

- BOB HITS OUT: Colourful Labour Party president Bob Harvey has slammed Government ministers for driving around on their "chauffeur-assisted butts looking uncomfortable and actually achieving stuff-all" for Auckland's transport woes. Speaking in his capacity as chair of the Auckland mayoral forum, the Waitakere mayor said he was getting a little tired of the people who were running the country hiding behind financing structures when big issues arose.

- POWER LOWER: About half of all domestic electricity customers should be able to reduce their power bills under new industry regulations, although for many the saving will be slight. Energy Minister Pete Hodgson yesterday outlined a range of consumer-friendly measures, including cuts to high fixed charges on small users, in response to recommendations from an electricity inquiry chaired by former Finance Minister David Caygill.

- CONTROL BY TERROR: A 33-year-old woman who tried to control a difficult foster child by terror and accidentally set fire to the 10-year-old boy in Whitianga last year was sentenced to four months' imprisonment yesterday. Justice Robert Fisher said in the High Court at Auckland that the term was short but if Josephine Auai Warren had intended to burn the boy she would have undoubtedly gone to prison for several years.

- FASTER INTERNET: Cheaper fast-internet access early next year, but uncertainty for users of free internet. Those are the likely outcomes for consumers from an 11th-hour agreement between Telecom and Clear on the eve of the Telecommunications Inquiry's recommendations going before the Government.

- STRANGE PRICES: Did you know the cost of spaying a cat went up $5.18 between 1996 and 1999, but a four-roll pack of toilet paper dropped from $2.90 to $2.75 in the same period? And believe it or not, tourism was alive and well in 1903, with 5233 visitors from overseas painstakingly making their way across the oceans to see New Zealand. This compares with 1.56 million tourists - a record high - last year.

- MAN SWAMPED: A man was missing last night after being swept from a gondola-like cage suspended from a cableway crossing the Whanganui River. He was one of two men washed into the swiftly flowing river, swollen after heavy weekend rain, at about 2.30 pm yesterday. The other man was rescued.

All excerpts (c) copyright 2000 The New Zealand Herald

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